In the end, it’s an ‘all or nothing’ game. You either believe in God or you don’t.
God, by definition, is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He’s all powerful, He knows everything and He’s always there. Nothing escapes Him, nothing surprises Him, and nothing happens He didn’t cause or allow. Overwhelming to contemplate. Easy to worship (because “He’s up there” somewhere). But hard to put into ‘day-to-day’ context.
When things go the way we want, we’re quick to “Praise the Lord.” We’re grateful and give Him full credit. Well, most of the credit. When it doesn’t go the way we want, we pray “Lord, please make this come out the way we want.” We would never really pray that, at least not where anyone would hear us. But isn’t that what we do? Aren’t we okay with ‘God’s will’ as long as it lines up with our idea of what’s ‘good’? And when we pray, aren’t we asking God to change His mind and make it match ours?
At the root of our uneasiness is a huge leap of faith. We say we believe God is all good all the time.
When we extend the time horizon to include Heaven, we can rationalize the ‘not so good’ stuff into ‘all good’. We quote Romans 8:28 and talk about ‘all things working for the good’. When we get to Heaven and see everything from God’s perspective, we’ll see just how good He is. But if we could just believe it now, we’d be so much more peaceful. It all starts and ends with God.
C.S. Lewis points to the frail idea that a dad giving his kid money to buy him a Christmas present is to the good. “He loves the present and what he sees in the kid, but he’s zero based in terms of gain.” It was God’s to begin with and His in the end. It’s the journey. The experience of God ‘loving the present and what he sees in the kid’, seeing His child demonstrate generosity and creativity and resourcefulness…that’s what this life is all about, both for God and for us.
On the downside, God ‘gives and takes away’. The ‘good’ He gives is easy to connect back to Him. What is ‘taken away’ is always traced back to the fall. Every pain, loss, disaster and death is a downstream consequence of that first man and woman deciding they couldn’t trust God to be totally good. And here we are struggling with the same trust issue today.
In Jesus Calling , Sarah Young imagines God saying this….
“Try to view each day as an adventure, carefully planned out for you by your Guide….Trust that I am with you each moment…A life lived close to Me will never be dull or predictable…Expect each day to contain surprises… No matter how steep or treacherous the path before you, the safest place to be is by My side.”
You will never figure out why bad stuff happens. And you will never figure out God’s connection to it. Just accept that and move forward. Choose to trust Him. The safest place to be is at His side.
Question: Will you spend your life hung up on the unanswerable and miss out on the companionship of the Unquestionable? Tell us here.
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